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A.D.B. extends $100 million loan for India’s solar power projects

A.D.B. extends $100 million loan for India’s solar power projects

The Asian Development Bank is extending loans of up to $100 million to aid in pr...

Nebraska Supreme Court, House of Representatives supporting proposed Keystone pipeline route

Nebraska Supreme Court, House of Representatives supporting proposed Keystone pipeline route

Despite misgivings from the public and the White House, proponents of the Keysto...

Obama will not sign Keystone Pipeline bill

Obama will not sign Keystone Pipeline bill

President Barack Obama will not sign the Keystone Pipeline bill, saying that it ...

Senvion completes offshore wind farm over Christmas

Senvion completes offshore wind farm over Christmas

Senvion completed the installation of wind turbines for the Nordsee Ost offshore...

Vestas to supply wind turbines in Greece and Chile

Vestas to supply wind turbines in Greece and Chile

Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas ended 2014 with two supply contracts: on...

U.N. chief hails results of C.O.P. 20

U.N. chief hails results of C.O.P. 20

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the results of the recently ...

Manufacturer’s perspective on the new U.S. emissions reduction target

Manufacturer’s perspective on the new U.S. emissions reduction target

The United States manufacturing sector may be opting for a more diversified way ...

Business

Technology

Advantage of green cloud computing

Advantage of green cloud computing

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Green computing is the usage of computing resources in an energy- and resource-efficient manner. Part of it is using computers that have been Energy S...

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Politics

Living Green

Eco -friendly Flooring

Eco -friendly Flooring

Friday, 30 January 2015

The term eco – friendly is usually associated with high prices, dull and boring materials and lack of variety. Luckily, the reality is completely diff...

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Renewables

Hereford Wind Project in Texas begins commercial operations

Hereford Wind Project in Texas begins commercial operations

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The 200-megawatt Hereford Wind Project in Texas has achieved commercial operation. EDF Renewable Energy, which purchased shares of the project in 2013...

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Low-Carbon

Seven eco-friendly home heating solutions

Seven eco-friendly home heating solutions

Friday, 12 December 2014

Environmentally friendly home heating solutions are valuable for the planet, and can lower your utility bills. With the numerous home heating alternat...

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Opinion

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Nutrition plays a critical role in everyone’s chance at a better future. Hunger, said Benjamin Franklin once, is the best pickle. Some say “pickle”...

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Researchers look into bacteria-powered water desalination process


Bruce Logan, Kappe professor of environmental engineering (right) and Maha Mehanna, postdoctoral fellow (left) are already at work on the next generation of microbial
desalination cells based on using air cathodes.
Image Courtesy of Penn State Live

A team of researchers from China and the US say bacteria that occur in wastewater can actually be used to produce energy needed in water desalination.

Researchers from the Penn State University and Tsinghua University in Beijing are working on “microbial fuel cells.” In this device, naturally occurring bacteria in the wastewater consume organic material, producing electricity.

The microbial desalination cell first cleans water by removing organic material from it. This process produces electricity which can then be used to desalinate water so that it can be safe for drinking.

Currently, it takes a lot of electricity to desalinate water, which is accomplished in many locations using a process called reverse osmosis, one that pushes water under high pressure through membranes that allow water to pass but not salt.

The researchers, however, admit that the system still has to be improved. In their tests, it took 200 milliliters of artificial wastewater containing acetic acid to desalinate just 3 milliliters of salty water. Another concern is that bacteria that run the cell might have a problem living in highly acidic environments, which happens in the cell as protons work their way from one electrode to another.

“This is not a practical system yet as it is not optimized, but it is proof of concept," Bruce Logan, Kappe professor of environmental engineering at Penn State, said.

The study was reported in a recent online issue of Environmental Science and Technology. It was supported by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China.


- Katrice R. Jalbuena



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Reference:

1 http://live.psu.edu/story/40817

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